It’s no secret that Russia isn’t kind to the LGBTQ+ community. There’s a “propaganda law” that’s used to shut down Pride parades, events, and media. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t organizations in Russia that are still holding out hope and fighting the good fight to make their families safe and accepted in their country. Enter: Rainbow Future.
Rainbow Future is a LGBT family-focused group based in St. Petersburg. They created a cool way to spread love and acceptance for LGBT families in Russia.
Back in 2015, the group held a workshop for LGBT parents as the kids played nearby.
A spokesperson told Gay Star News, “One of the participants of Rainbow Future decided to take pictures of the children. One of the photos we liked very much. Our children were holding hands. But we knew that we would never be able to publish this image for security reasons.”
The group then had a great idea to make the picture into postcards and send them out to raise awareness for LGBT families.
“On the face of the postcard there were real children from LGBT families. They really do exist. They live their lives, go to schools and kindergartens, walk on the playgrounds and eat ice cream. However, in our country, they are invisible,” the spokesperson said.
“We cannot show their faces because it is unsafe for LGBT families. It seems to us that this card is a reflection of the situation of LGBT families in Russia. Families do exist, but they are invisible.”
After printing the postcards, they posted it on social media. If people wanted a postcard sent to them, they provided their address and the group would send the postcard out. Then, the receivers would take a picture with the postcard in a manner that felt most safe to them. Participants were also asked to share their stories.
“We got responses from various cities of the country: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Samara, Nakhodka, Tyumen, Voronezh, Perm, Tomsk, Ekaterinburg, Belgorod and others. We also sent our postcards to LGBT organization in Boston, Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Berlin, Oslo, Warsaw, Helsinki, Brussels, Milan.”
For International Family Equality Day in 2017, Rainbow Future once again sent out postcards.
“In November 2016 our group Rainbow Future took part in All-Russia Forum of LGBT activists in Moscow. We had a creative workshop where everyone can create an original picture in support of IFED-2017.”
“Our designer created three postcards from these pictures and we started posting them in May 2017. We send about 100 postcards to different cities and towns of Russia. Also to Ukraine, Belarus, Sweden, Great Britain and USA.”
“We hope that this action will help to draw the attention of the LGBT community to one of the most vulnerable groups – LGBT families, including families with children.”
“What we would love is to have in our country a strong community of LGBT families and those who support them. Because together, we are strong. Because, if you share your trouble with friends, it becomes less, and when you share your joy with others, it becomes bigger!”
Images of the postcards of 2017 have been posted online and Rainbow Future even received some postcards back with wonderful messages such as:
“What is a family for me?” says one. “Hmmm… For me it’s a difficult question, never thought that I will ever think about it. It is when someone I love is near me, when you feel joy together, overcoming challenges is easier. A life filled with new meanings.”
Another reads: “We all need love and no one has the right to condemn and oppress others because they are different, but pose no danger. Love makes a family! As it is right! No family is complete without love and do not care if it fits the concept of the majority or not. No love, no family. Everything else is irrelevant.”